Tendinosis calcarea is a common cause of shoulder pain, particularly in persons between the age of 30 and 60 years. The etiology of the disease has not yet been elucidated. Calcifications develop in the tendons of the rotator cuff and typically go through defined stages or evolutionary cycles. The supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles are mainly affected.
Initially patients only report pain when performing certain movements, particularly circular movements or raising their arm above their head – movements in which the rotator cuff plays an important role. In later stages patients may experience pain even when at rest. Intermittent acute pain attacks are typical for calcific tendonitis of the shoulder. Focused shockwave therapy has become an established therapy in addition to classic treatment approaches. Studies have reported an increase in function and a decrease in pain after shockwave applications.